Study objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between quality of life and measures of asthma, such as lung function, reversibility to bronchodilation, exhaled nitric oxide (NO), and bronchial responsiveness to direct and indirect stimulus in patients with mild asthma in a primary care setting.
Patients and measurements: Seventy-seven asthmatic patients not treated with glucocorticosteroids completed the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire. Spirometry was performed before and after bronchodilation, and bronchial challenges with methacholine and eucapnic dry air hyperventilation were conducted on separate days. NO in exhaled air and serum IgE were also analyzed.
Results: We found no correlation between quality of life and any of the other parameters. There was a significant covariation between exhaled NO and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine and dry air, and also between FEV1 (percentage of predicted) and reversibility to a bronchodilator. The levels of exhaled NO were higher in the asthmatic subjects with atopy than in the nonatopic asthmatics.
Conclusions: The measures used in our study do not reflect health-related quality of life in subjects with mild asthma. We conclude that in the clinical situation, quality of life and other measures of asthma provide complementary information.